Category: Fundraising

Covid-19 and employment in the nonprofit sector

Sector leaders have asked for an updated analysis of employment in the nonprofit sector, to help understand the potential impact of Covid-19.

In 2019, we reported employment levels of 163,000 in 8,600 Irish nonprofits, including 69,000 people working in 60 major nonprofits – mostly charities – in the higher education and health/social care sectors, who enjoy the same employment conditions as public servants.

According to the latest filings, the current employment total is 173,000, of which 69,000 are quasi public servants.

Typically, of the 4,600 nonprofits that report having paid employees, payroll costs are highest as a proportion of all turnover in entities with more than 100 employees

Most of these are in health, education and social services. These are also the nonprofits with the greatest proportion of higher-paid employees, according to their financial disclosures.

 Number of nonprofitsAggregate turnoverAggregate payroll costsPayroll as % of turnoverRegistered charities (%)
More than 100 employees195€8,949.8m€5,937.6m66%81%
50 - 99 employees198€725.3m€€416.6m57%81%
10 - 49 employees1,657€1,782.1m€932.4m52%62%
Fewer than 10 employees2,575€797.1m€282.6m35%62%

Source: Benefacts Database of Irish Nonprofits

14,000 people work in nonprofits that depend on fundraising/donations for more than 25% of their turnover.

In another blog we have reported on the profile of fundraising and donations. Any reduction in revenues from this source will have an impact on those 800 nonprofits (including 631 registered charities) that depend on the public for a significant portion of their income, and whose employees lack the protection of public sector employment terms and conditions.

Benefacts uses open data to build and maintain a picture of Ireland’s 30,000+ nonprofit entities – incorporated and unincorporated, regulated and unregulated.

About a third of these file financial statements annually with one or more public regulatory source including the Companies Registration Office, the Standards in Public Office Commission, the Houses of the Oireachtas. These public disclosures form the basis of our analysis. Our numbers are drawn from this population, not from survey data.

Covid-19 and fundraising by nonprofits

People have been asking about the potential scale of Covid-19 impacts on fundraising charities.

Here are some benchmark figures which show how things stood at the start of this year, using currently available data.

More analysis follows in our annual review of the sector, due for release in May.

Fundraising is an important source of revenue for Irish nonprofits

At least 1,719 Irish nonprofits rely on fundraising and donations (including one-off donations, regular giving, legacies & bequests, charity shop revenues) for a portion of their income. 1,383 of these are registered charities.

With aggregate total income from all sources of €3.7bn, this group of nonprofits generate nearly €1bn in revenues from donations and fundraising – that’s more than 24% of their income.

Two thirds of this income is concentrated in the largest 50 charities, mainly in international development, family support services, philanthropy, and health services/health promotion.

For 800 nonprofits, fundraising accounts for more than 25% of their revenues

The profile of reliance on donations varies by sector. In 800 nonprofits, employing 14,039 people, fundraising and donations account for more than 25% of their revenues.

Nonprofit sectorsTotal Income - all sourcesFundraisingFundraising as % of income
Philanthropy, Voluntarism€164.0m€129.6m79.00%
Religion*€97.2m€70.4m72.40%
Environment€36.8m€21.2m57.70%
International€498.1m€232.1m46.60%
Education, Research*€126.8m€40.1m31.60%
Advocacy, Law, Politics€90.1m€26.4m29.20%
Health€742.6m€121.8m16.40%
Recreation, Sports*€95.7m€13.6m14.20%
Social Services€1,443.3m€204.6m14.20%
Arts, Culture, Media€82.4m€11.6m14.10%
Professional, Vocational€51.5m€4.0m7.80%
Local Development, Housing€260.6m€17.4m6.70%
Grand Total€3,689.0m€892.7m24.20%
* Limited data available
Source: Benefacts April 2020

Better disclosures = better data

We know that 1,719 is an understatement of the full population of nonprofits that depend on fundraised income and donations. This is because

  • In November 2019 (the last time Revenue updated their figures) 2,438 charities were eligible for tax relief on qualifying donations
  • When they filed their latest set of accounts, many nonprofit companies (37% of them charities) chose not to disclose their income and expenditure – which means we have no way of analysing their revenue from fundraising or donations
  • The financial statements of unincorporated charities – mainly religious institutions, philanthropies and unincorporated trusts – submitted since 2015 to the Charities Regulatory Authority are not available to the public because the Regulator doesn’t publish them

Benefacts uses open data to build and maintain a detailed picture of Ireland’s 30,000+ nonprofits – incorporated and unincorporated, regulated and unregulated. Contact us if you’d like to know more.

About a third of these file financial statements annually with one or more public regulatory source including the Companies Registration Office, the Standards in Public Office Commission, the Houses of the Oireachtas. These public disclosures form the basis of our analysis. Our numbers are drawn from this population, not from survey data.

Benefacts and COVID-19

Our last post was about the resilience of Ireland’s voluntary sector and that is surely going to be tested in the coming months.

Like so many other small Irish nonprofits, Benefacts has become a virtual office since the start of this week. All of our staff are working from home and for the time being we are staying in touch with one another and with suppliers, partners and customers exclusively online.

Meetings are taking place via conference call and all staff are available via email or phone – the general office number is 01 536 7130. In the case of general queries, use info@benefacts.ie.

Currently, we’re busy finishing this year’s nonprofit sector analysis report, although we have deferred the launch originally planned for 30th April: we’ll post more information about this in another few weeks.

For Irish government updates and advice to the Irish public about COVID-19, see here.

Benefacts is 5

Last week, Benefacts adopted and published our 2019 annual report, marking five years in business making the work of Irish nonprofits more transparent and more accessible.

We thought we would have a look in our Database of Irish Nonprofits to see what other anniversaries might strike a chord with visitors to Benefacts.ie.

The Economic and Social Research Institute is 60 this year. Like Benefacts, it was established under a far-sighted partnership with 50:50 co-funding between the Irish Government and a prominent philanthropic foundation – in their case, the Ford Foundation, in ours, the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Ireland Funds. May we live so long.

We were curious to see what other nonprofits had reached their 50th birthdays around the same time, and we found some encouraging evidence of the durability of Irish nonprofit companies.

Gorta, which recently merged to become Self-Help Africa was 50 last year; so was St Michael’s House, the Scouts Association, the Consumers Association of Ireland, the Irish Family Planning Association and PACE – Prisoners’ Aid Through Community Effort. Have a look at the full list here.

2020 will see fiftieth birthdays for the Irish Georgian Society, the Marketing Society, Dublin Simon Community, Ballyfermot Community Association and more.

50 years is a long time in the life of any company. How many commercial SMEs have passed their fiftieth anniversary with so much to show in terms of contributing to the quality of life in Ireland?

Nonprofit companies* with birthdays in 2019

BenefactsIDIncorporated DateOrganisation Name
806787021/02/1969SHERRARD HOUSE
534980924/02/1969GORTA
396480211/03/1969THE BANDON GERIATRIC AND COMMUNITY COUNCIL
654986020/03/1969IRISH FAMILY PLANNING ASSOCIATION COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE
594577409/04/1969TRIALS DRIVERS' CLUB COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE
806995525/04/1969THE SALLYNOGGIN OLD FOLKS ASSOCIATION
329455405/05/1969CAHIR PARK GOLF CLUB COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE
694198405/05/1969IRISH SUB-AQUA CLUB COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE
407778306/05/1969THE IRISH ANTIQUE DEALERS ASSOCIATION COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE
591918718/06/1969THE CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND
705067913/10/1969P.A.C.E. (PRISONERS AID THROUGH COMMUNITY EFFORT) COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE
172744119/12/1969ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL STUDIES
277722825/07/1969THE SCOUT ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND TRUST CORPORATION COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE
493320812/12/1969THE PATRICIAN TRUST

Nonprofit companies* with birthdays in 2020

BenefactsIDIncorporated DateOrganisation Name
755795012/02/1970ST. GERARD'S SCHOOL
345263423/03/1970ARDEE INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY DESIGNATED ACTIVITY COMPANY
250283618/06/1970NORTHSIDE SHOPPING CENTRE PROMOTION ASSOCIATION COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE
200790616/07/1970REGINA MUNDI (CORK) LIMITED
642488630/07/1970BANTRY BAY GOLF CLUB COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE
284714027/08/1970IRISH GEORGIAN FOUNDATION
583590719/11/1970THE PARNELL G.A.A. CLUB COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE
154361526/11/1970THE MARKETING SOCIETY COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE
305693703/12/1970THE BALLYFERMOT COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
419635004/12/1970DUBLIN SIMON COMMUNITY

* Benefacts doesn’t have incorporation dates for nonprofits that are not incorporated as companies, e.g. religious foundations and unincorporated trusts whose foundation, in many cases, pre-dates the foundation of the Irish State.

Less doesn’t equal more in nonprofit disclosure

Filing of abridged accounts by nonprofits rose again in 2018

40% of registered charities filed abridged accounts for 2017.

For non-charities the level was 56%.

Filing of abridged accounts by nonprofits has almost doubled

Benefacts latest analysis shows that since the filing regulations changed, the number of nonprofits submitting their accounts in abridged form to the CRO has almost doubled, from 27% in 2015 to 48% in 2017.

Use Benefacts new advanced search facility to review the list of companies that filed abridged accounts. Click here to see the latest list of abridged accounts, and charity companies that filed abridged accounts.

What are abridged accounts?

Since the Companies Act was changed in 2014, nonprofit companies can avail of the same filing exemptions as privately-owned companies. More and more choose to do so.

By law, every company must produce a directors report and full set of financial statements and present these to an annual meeting of its members/its owners. After that, the members of the company decide the form in which they share it with the rest of us.

The new rules mean that once the full accounts have been adopted at the AGM, they may be filed in a summary or “abridged” form. Abridged accounts include the Directors and Auditors’ report, the balance sheet and notes to the accounts, but exclude the income and expenditure statement.

Who cares?

The transparency of charity accounts is a matter of public interest. By concealing information about their income and expenditure, more than 1,500 charity companies – including those that rely on public funding – are giving us less than the full picture about where their money comes from and what they do with it.

Smart nonprofit Boards will be asking not “how little can we get away with reporting?” but “how can we use our annual report to communicate better with our stakeholders?”.

The reality is, full accounts are an integral part of any due diligence research. They’re used by prospective donors, government funders, volunteers and people considering serving as directors on Boards. They’re accessed more readily than ever before now that Benefacts publishes detailed information derived from them on this website.

Another burden of regulation on nonprofits?

On the contrary. The Charities Act provides that charities which are also companies don’t have to file twice. They just have to send their accounts to the CRO which in turn forwards them to the Charities Regulator.

The cost of audit is the same whatever the form in which the accounts are filed. In fact, it’s surprising so many nonprofits take the trouble to publish abridged accounts to the Companies Registration Office when the terms of their funding contracts require them to make the full accounts available to their funders.

Less isn’t more – act now to reverse the trend

Most nonprofits have a financial year-end of 31st December, and 2018 audits are now being planned or are underway already. Now is the time to plan for a great annual report including a clear account of what you are doing and why it’s important, and the income and expenditure that supports this.

Make your views known

For charities, even charity companies, higher reporting standards will soon be regulated for because a new financial reporting standard is not far off. In fact a call for submissions has been made on behalf of the four regulators of charities in these islands – view it here, and consider making a submission before the 4th February deadline.